"I Want Myself for President"
by Claudia Inglessis (Buckingham Browne and Nichols School | Cambridge)
I want a slur for president:
a dyke whose lover’s hand is slapped from her own,
a spec whose mouth doesn’t stretch around English,
a bitch who’s labelled as nothing more than a dog.
I want a nasty woman for president:
a slut who opens her legs like she opens a book,
a shrew who throws insults like she throws away ignorance,
a pussy who backs down like she backs other women.
I want a bad hombre for president:
a fence-hopper like pressed sheets on cheap beds,
a beaner like forgotten mango with chili powder,
a chico like a forgotten penny tail-end up on the sidewalk.
I want a president who is the agony of his people.
Chinese Exclusion Act
Anarchist Exclusion Act
Mexican Repatriation Act
every act of eviction
I want a president who looks at me and sees a blank slate,
not a slew of stereotypes spat across my face
or marginalization sliced into my tongue
or inferiority bearing down on my shoulders.
I want to know why a president can’t have stereotypes, or marginalization, or inferiority.
I want to know why I can’t be president,
I want myself for president:
a wild tornado
grinding misogyny to dust,
tearing through racist hierarchies,
wrenching prejudiced systems off their foundations.
I want myself,
a bitchy, nasty, stupid, alien dyke,